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The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands

Origin: England, London
Hand colored line engravings on laid paper, bound in leather, bordered by tooling on leather binding
Museum Purchase, Dr. and Mrs. Joel Mattison, and individual pledges from: Mr. Walter Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Asplundh, Ms. Jane Barrett, Mrs. Van Meter Boone, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Carr, Mrs. Warren H. Channel, Mr. and Mrs. Clement Conger, Mr. and Mrs. R. Dale Cook, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Coon, Mr. John R. Curtis, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. English S. DesChamps III, Dr. & Mrs. Franklin Dill, Mrs. William S. Dutton, Mrs. Suzanne Z. Dyal; Mrs. G. Bernard Fenwick, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. William M.B.Fleming, Ms. Kathleen Forrestal, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fox, Mr. John A. Grubb, Mr. and Mrs. John M. Harbour, Dr. & Mrs. Robert G. Isbell, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dudley Jameson, Mrs .H.O. Jernigan, Catesby B. Jones, The McGraw-Hill Foundation, Inc. (matching the payment by Walter W. Patten, Jr.), Mr. and Mrs. Terry L. Meyers, Mr. and Mrs. Karl E. Miller, Mrs. W. Arthur Porter, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Potterfield, Mr. Kenneth M. Robbins, Dr. and Mrs. Chantry, Mr. John Scarchuk, Mr. and Mrs. E. Sykes Scherman, Mrs. Ralph D. Shearer, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Stiverson, United Virginia Bank, Ms. Nancy Van Dervoort, Miss Beverlee L. Wass, Mrs. Frank E. Williams, Mrs. Robert C. Wolf, and Mrs. Henry Zenke
Acc. No. 1984-147,1
Book, THE NATURAL HISTORY OF CAROLINA, FLORIDA, AND THE BAHAMA ISLANDS, designed and engraved by Mark Catesby; hand-colored line engravings in tooled leather bindings. In two volumes, lst edition...
Label:The southern colonies, in particular, provided a vast, boundless field of study for those interested in natural history. One of the most important works on the subject was The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby. He first came to Virginia in 1712 and spent seven years with his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Dr. William Cocke of Williamsburg. Catesby returned to the colonies in 1722 to gather information and specimens for a natural history that was sponsored by a group of Englishmen. Most of the four years of his second visit was spent in South Carolina, Georgia, and the Bahamas.

Upon his return to England, Catesby discovered that the cost of commissioning engravings after his drawings was prohibitively expensive; therefore he learned the process of etching himself, commencing production in 1732. By 1743, the publication was completed. Of the 220 plates, Catesby etched all but two. In addition to being the first illustrated publication devoted to the natural history of the region, Catesby’s work was also the first to attempt to illustrate the birds perched on branches of trees that existed in their natural habitat. So important was this publication that it was revised and republished by George Edwards in 1754, and again in 1771. Separate German and Dutch editions were also produced.